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Carnival Secrets: How to Win at Carnival Games, Which Games to Avoid, How to Make Your Own Games Paperback – August 1, 1988

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Editorial Reviews


The most informative of all on the subject. It's a must for investigators and carnival game buffs. This book reveals the secrets of winning midway games. The author describes dozens of games and explains how to play them. He also warns about those games which are almost impossible to win. The book includes plans for building your own games to be used for practice, home entertainment for making your own mini-carnival. This book provides a fascinating look at the world of carnival games. --Bob Snyder, nationally known gaming expert

This books talks about over 35 different carnival games, their strategies, and how they work. Some parts are so detailed, that it is easy enough to build your own attractions from the description. Just to pick two games that can be used in the classroom, Roll Down (Chapter 10) is good for a probability exercise, and Bottle Set Up (Chapter4) is good for a center of mass lab or demonstration. This is a fun book that will cause you to look at carnival games much differently, and for the creative teacher, has extensions for use in a classroom. --Nathan Unterman, autnor of Amusement Park Physics: A Teacher's Guide

Written for anyone who wants a better idea of what goes on under the carnival tent. --Sports Form

About the Author

Matthew Gryczan collected information and conducted interviews of carnival game manufacturers, law enforcement agents and carnies for two years in preparation of Carnival Secrets. He also measured games as they operated on the midway and kept track of how many times the average carnivalgoer had to play before winning. He then built replicas of some games and practiced them. The outcome of his research: He won 10 large prizes the first year he hit the carnival circuit, spending far less per game than the average player. Gryczan has worked as a reporter and editor of several daily newspapers and magazines and as a manufacturing engineer. He holds bachelor's degrees in journalism, business and manufacturing engineering.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Zenith Press; 1st edition (August 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0945974000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0945974000
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 4.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Andy P on October 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Sorry to say, but I was very disappointed with this book. The title promised to tell us "how to win carnival games and how to make your own games." The author does tell you how hard, if not impossible, it is to win each game. But he provides very little in the way of how to construct your own practice setup or how to best win the games. He also sites very old statistical data for how often people win - which isn't very often. After reading this book I was more discouraged than anything. My son wanted to learn how to win the big prizes, but this book's message is mostly "Don't bother, kid, you'll lose."
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